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Expect more goals as Liverpool try to outscore Southampton

Anybody wanting to keep a close eye on England’s World Cup hopefuls should be at St Mary’s Stadium this Saturday tea-time when nine of the players Roy Hodgson picked for his squad for the Denmark friendly next Wednesday – four from Southampton and five from Liverpool – do battle in a high quality Premier League clash.

And you might just be watching the Premier League Champions in waiting, too. Everybody is taking Liverpool very seriously now, including Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini, as the Reds continue to chalk up the goals to stay right in the title mix.

Already pretty much assured of a Champions League spot (1/6 with Coral), Liverpool are now 8/1 to win the Premier League outright behind Manchester City (5/4), Chelsea (11/8) and Arsenal (15/2).

They have become the team to watch this season, scoring goals for fun while racking up the points. Everybody was thinking that just City could be in line to score 100 Premier League goals, but Liverpool’s four against Swansea last weekend took them to 70, one more than the light blues.

Daniel Sturridge has scored in eight league games in a row and is beginning to make a race of it with strike partner Luis Suarez for the Golden Boot. The Uruguayan (1/6 with Coral), who has been going through a little drought recently, is still clear on 23 goals, but Sturridge (11/2) is closing on 18.

But while Liverpool have been formidable going forward, they have been a bit leaky at the back – the other three in the title race have all conceded less goals both home and away.

And they will need to be careful at Southampton, who have a pretty good home record against Liverpool down the years and are the only team to have beaten them at Anfield this season.

All games between now and the end of the campaign will be auditions for those desperate to get to the World Cup Finals and Southampton’s likely lads, Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriquez and Luke Shaw, with nothing else to play for in mid-table, will be able to relax to some degree and give it their best shot.

I think we can expect more goals from Liverpool with Suarez and Sturridge both looking good at 6/5 to be on the scoresheet. Coral’s 4/9 both teams to score and 6/4 over 3.5 goals are also worth considering.

But I’m far from certain which way this will go and so suggest backing both teams to win 3-2 (20/1 Liverpool and 28/1 Southampton).